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July 30, 2016 By Andy Ross

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Late in the summer

Cleaning Breckon SandsAlthough it is just the end of July, Shetland is already moving into the last days of summer. 

The days are getting shorter, the light has assumed a hint of yellow and the horizon is tinged with pink in the early morning and late evening. 

The birds have stopped singing and are eagerly searching for the seeds of the harvest time, and the twinkling of lights in houses and at the ferry terminal above which I live have begun to herald the onset of the darker months. BUT... this is the time of the purple and pink heather. Hillsides of brilliant colour are just about to begin, and the whole of our view becomes tinged with a haze of violet and salmon. It is a fantastic time of year in Shetland especially as, for the past few weeks, a pod of orca have been seen around and about the islands, hunting and fishing to the delight of nature watchers of all ages. And, naturally, we have inspiration for blankets and warps, like the one on this page which was designed for us by our friend, Ann Sutton.

Of course at the studio the turn of the seasons does not really matter. We are busy designing and weaving, running events and workshops, and planning for the next few years. Summer is busy with visitors and outdoor tasks like gardening and painting or cleaning beaches (see picture opposite of the tourist group cleaning Breckon Sands last week). Winter is busy with indoor things and looking forward to Christmas or weaving cloth in preparation for the trade fairs of the new year. While it lasts though, we are enjoying the great spectacles of the summer season and the colours of the bright days.